Usually when engineers think of rolled screws, they think of something that isn't very precise—with lead errors in the neighborhood of 0.01 inch per linear ft. Not any longer. Engineers at Nook Industries have reportedly come up with a way to thread roll screws with a lead error of just 0.0001 inch per linear ft—accuracy that's on the order of more expensive ground screws. The only limitation of the rolling process, engineers say, is that the outer diameter of the thread dictates the maximum diameter on the screw. Nook engineers say the advancement was "the result of better control of the rolling process." The benefits, says Chief Engineer Rick Christyson, are the cost savings (he estimates about one third the cost of a ground screw) and shorter, more reliable delivery schedules. Typical lead times for ground screws are variable, ranging from weeks to even months, says Christyson. Rather than going to head-to-head with ground screws, though, Nook says that it will target the market served by servo-hydraulics, which involves high loads, high speeds, and precision motion. Though the company won't release the new rolled screws until this summer, it's currently Beta-testing them with several customers in the OEM machine market. So far, so good, says Nook.
Imagine being able to illegally download a physical product the same way you can with music and videos. That’s basically what’s happening with 3D printing and digital manufacturing, with huge repercussions in the intellectual property domain.
Ford will be the first automaker to commercially use Alcoa's tough & fast Micromill aluminum alloy process and materials, debuting on several 2016 F-150 truck components. Alcoa will also license its Micromill process and materials technology to Danieli Group.
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